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By Daniel Bates | Mail Online  | Jun. 11, 2010

Whites are on the verge of becoming a minority of newborn babies in the United States.

Official census figures show that non-white births, including Hispanics, constituted 48 per cent of children born in America between July 2008 and 2009, up from 46 per cent two years before.

Experts said the U.S. could become a 'minority majority' as early as next year, with minority births being greater than whites of European ancestry.

 

Multi-ethnic New York

Multi-ethnic New York: Whites are on the verge of becoming a minority of newborn babies in the U.S., according to census figures (file picture)

The reason for the change is the higher birth rate among non-white U.S. citizens - even in the recession, where birth rates fell across all racial groups, non-whites saw a lower fall.

But, as in Britain, the changing make-up of the population has led to tensions and particular concern over the strain it puts on schools and social services.

The state of Arizona recently enacted a law which made it an offence to be an illegal immigrant and allowed police to stop and search anybody they thought did not look like they were from the US.

Other laws passed by the state, which were roundly condemned for being discriminatory, required teachers to not have an overly thick accent.

The census data shows that minorities made up 31 per cent of the US population in 2000 but between July 2008 and 2009 that had increased to 35 per cent.

Among Hispanics, there were around nine births for one death, compared to a one-on-one ratio for whites.

In addition, the median age of the white population is older than that of non-whites so a larger share of minority women are in prime child-bearing years.

Kenneth Johnson, senior demographer at the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire, said the tipping point where 'minority' births become a majority could come as early as next year.

'The question is just when,' he said.

In Britain, the pressure of immigration and rising birth rates fuelled by the new arrivals will swell some southern towns by nearly a fifth over the next eight years, official figures show.

In London, the situation is more extreme where four in ten young people are members of ethnic minorities.

A government report found that more than 700,000 children and teenagers are classed as non-white, around 40 per cent of the age group in the capital.

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